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How many hours do you have to work to afford everyday items in Lebanon? An updated calculator

In the two months since we initially published this cost of living calculator, the exchange rate has continued to deteriorate and the prices of consumer goods have continued to rise, making life more unlivable for growing numbers of Lebanon’s residents.

How many hours do you have to work to afford everyday items in Lebanon? An updated calculator

Lebanese in line to fill up their cooking gas cylinders in Saida. (Credit: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)

.تجدون أداة حساب تكلفة المعيشة باللغة العربية في آخر المقالة

In the two months since we initially published this cost of living calculator, the exchange rate has continued to deteriorate and the prices of consumer goods have continued to rise, making life more unlivable for growing numbers of Lebanon’s residents.

Initially we found that people who work 40 hours a week at the monthly minimum wage of LL675,000 and earn their salaries in lira must work 1 hour and 4 minutes to buy a large package of bread from a bakery. Today the cost is more than double. On 25 Nov. the Economy Ministry set the price of a 1,035 gram package of bread at LL9,500. A 40-hour-a-week minimum wage worker would need to spend 2 hours and 15 minutes on the job to afford it.

We previously reported that such a minimum wage worker would need to spend 47 hours and 59 minutes on the job to buy 20 liters of gasoline. After multiple successive increases in the price of gas, that figure is now 74 hours and 12 minutes, just shy of 10 full workdays.

The month of October saw a 508 percent year-on-year increase in transportation costs, meaning those costs were six times higher than in October 2020.

On Wednesday the private sector transportation allowance was hiked from LL24,000 per day to LL65,000 per day. Last week Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced a similar increase in the public sector transportation allowance to LL64,000.

If implemented and applied to all workers, such allowances could make a difference. A minimum wage worker who works five days a week would see their take-home pay rise from LL675,000 to LL1,975,000, after adding the value of the transportation allowance.

But such a worker would still find their standard of living extremely low. Compared to an average Egyptian, American, or German worker—who must spend 27.3 minutes, 4.3 minutes, and 3.6 minutes, respectively, to buy a large bottle of Pepsi—the Lebanese worker would need to labor for an hour and 12.9 minutes to buy the same product. 

Cost of Living Calculator

Cost of Living Calculator
أداة حساب تكلفة المعيشة

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Updated 26 November 2021

.تجدون أداة حساب تكلفة المعيشة باللغة العربية في آخر المقالةIn the two months since we initially published this cost of living calculator, the exchange rate has continued to deteriorate and the prices of consumer goods have continued to rise, making life more unlivable for growing numbers of Lebanon’s residents.Initially we found that people...